New board elected after turbulent AGM

by Derek Cornet

Tensions were high May 24 as Meadow Lake Native Urban Housing Corporation members effectively removed the chairperson and board from power at its annual general meeting.

Confusion quickly erupted into yelling soon after the meeting was called to order. It began with a disagreement about when a chairperson and secretary should be appointed. Many in the room felt the duties should be assigned at the beginning while board chair Walter Chatelaine wanted to wait until the meeting’s mid-point.

“You have to appoint a meeting chairperson and that person conducts the meeting,” attendee Guy Tourand said. “You can’t bring any 2014 minutes forward until you get a chairperson and secretary.”

Gwen King then made a motion to appoint Tourand the meeting chairperson which passed by a slim margin. She then made several other motions including one for the removal of intimidating language at the top of the agenda.

“I’d like to make a motion we do not accept the agenda as written, but have the membership make the agenda for the May 24 AGM,” King remarked.

Those in attendance also voted not to accept the 2014 minutes as they were presented in the AGM package. The 2014 meeting was held in three parts and one part of the meeting wasn’t included in the minutes submitted. By the end of the AGM, members decided their confidence in the board had diminished too greatly.

Chatelaine – who had one year remaining as board chair – was ousted along with Victor Tourand and Gary Malboef. Eileen Evanchuk, Val-Gene Chatelaine, Carrie Studer and Elmer Wilson had all previously resigned. Joyce Auger had been suspended.

The new members of the nine-person board are Robert Bell, Bernice Daigneault, Kathy Klassen, Tina Lavallee, Sharon Malbeuf, Pamela McCloud, Tom Murray, Lynn Murray and David Mohr. The group is expected to hold its first meeting by mid-June to determine who will take on executive roles.

“It was a hectic and a hostile environment to be in,” Chatelaine said about his time as board chair. “We have so many threats coming in and many bad comments directed toward us on Facebook. Employees have resigned because they were being threatened.”

He went on to say he’s worried for the corporation and blames the discontent on the Lac De Prairie Métis Local 31 and hopes the unstableness of the corporation doesn’t result in the same demise as Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.

“It’s totally disorganized and they’re mixing politics with housing,” he remarked. “Politics doesn’t have any room when it comes to these matters.”

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